FEW clubs know better than Bradford City just how lucrative a good run in the Capital One Cup can be.
By reaching the 2013 final as a League Two side, the Bantams earned a seven-figure sum thanks to a run that saw Premier League trio Arsenal, Aston Villa and Wigan Athletic dumped out of the competition.
A repeat is, of course, unlikely. What Phil Parkinson’s side achieved by getting to Wembley was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
But such are the vagaries of Cup football that another thrilling run to the later rounds by a lower league side is not beyond the realms of possibility.
Bearing in mind the lack of depth in City’s squad due to the playing budget having been spent this summer, manager Phil Parkinson is hoping that his side can once again rise to the challenge in the Cup and earn extra income that can then be ploughed into the team.
Parkinson said: “Last year, we had a really tough draw at Huddersfield in the first round. That was always going to be difficult to get through, which is how it proved to be.
“Going out so early after getting to the final was disappointing for all of us. This time, though, I would imagine we are favourites and that brings its own pressure and expectation.
“Jim Bentley, though, has done a great job and always produces competitive sides. It will be a really tough match.
“A year ago, Morecambe ran Newcastle close in the first round and that shows what the Cup can be like. We know better than most.
“But if we can produce a good performance then we would, hopefully, be looking to progress, and if we can do that then there is a chance we could have a good run, which would be brilliant in terms of bringing some extra funds in.
“The squad isn’t where we want it to be, despite us having an excellent core of the squad. Extra money could help us get the depth I think we need.
“So, the game is important and we are going there to win.”
With first-choice goalkeeper Jordan Pickford unable to play tonight due to the constraints of his loan move from Sunderland, Matt Urwin, on the bench on Saturday, is hoping to get the nod to make his debut.
Last six games: Morecambe DDLWDW, Bradford City DWLWWW.
Last time: Morecambe 0 Bradford City 0; January 1, 2013; League Two.
Referee: S Duncan (Northumberland).